PSA Group has entered into a partnership with smartphone and communications specialist Huawei to deliver a new connected vehicle platform amid plans to grow its car sharing operations.
The French manufacturing group is looking to improve its direct link to vehicles as it promotes itself as a mobility provider with initiatives including its Free2Move product, which now gives 450,000 consumers access to a range of different transport options.
The new partnership will see the creation of a new platform, known as the Connected Vehicle Modular Platform (CVMP), which aims to ensure that “all digital interactions between the car and the cloud are managed securely while at the same time guaranteeing data integrity, authenticity and confidentiality”, the Group said.
CVMP will make it possible to introduce new services such as remote on-demand car diagnostics and remote control solutions such as battery charging and pre-heating; over-the‑air car software updates, traffic information and navigation.
Car sharing schemes and corporate fleet management will also be facilitated by the platform, along with customised on-board services such as personal assistant solutions.
The first applications of the new platform will be launched for customers in Europe and China in 2018.
Speaking at the Mobility Talks conference in Paris, Carlos Tavares, chairman of Groupe PSA's managing board, revealed that increased connectivity and mobility activity – including car sharing schemes – were central to the group Push to Pass strategic plan. He said: "Groupe PSA aims to become its customers’ preferred mobility provider.
“As part of the Push to Pass strategic plan, we deliver different services to our customers to facilitate their freedom of movement, day in, day out."
Tavares highlighted PSA’s online car sales platform and the growth of the Free2Move mobility brand at the event.
Already available in Europe and recently launched in Seattle ahead of wider deployment in the United States, Free2Move allows users to “choose the most appropriate mode of transport in a single click”.
The app offers a solution to every need, according to the PSA Group, with options to rent a bicycle, scooter or vehicle from a consumer, a partner‑operated service or the Group.
The application now has 450,000 users across participating territories.